What happens if you take a robot santa, an axe, alcohol, drugs, sexy people and a lot of neon lights? You get Christmas Bloody Christmas, a new Shudder Original from writer/director Joe Begos. It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. So, it’s impossible for you to try to take it seriously, and honestly, if you’re watching a movie about a military grade animatronic santa that goes on a Christmas killing spree with the intent of taking it seriously, then that’s on you.
Set in a small American town, we follow a bunch of 20 somethings….or 30 somethings…I honestly can’t tell how old characters are supposed to be based on the age of the actors anymore…these characters talk about music, horror films and get very, very intoxicated. The first 30 minutes of the 90 minute film is purely drunken banter and if you like music and horror movies then the banter is honestly pretty enjoyable. The dialogue is believable and the performances are fun. Although it does feel like it takes a little long for a premise you understand from seeing the poster to actually unfold, it’s a fun way to spend half an hour.
Storyline wise – it’s as predictable as you would expect but also as predictable as you’d hope watching a film like this. There’s plenty of b-grade over-the-top killing, combined with some unnecessarily expressive drunken sex, a decent soundtrack and a genuinely beautiful use of neon Christmas lights. There were a few things I found a bit disappointing even within my expectations of the film but the main thing that bothered me is the fact that the animatronic santa DOESN’T MOVE OR LOOK LIKE IT’S ANIMATRONIC. It’s basically just santa with robot noises dubbed over…It could have almost done away with the animatronic aspect and just been a big old white dude who hates Christmas…but enough about me…
It’s a hard film to review to be honest because it does exactly what it says on the packet. You wouldn’t eat 2-minute noodles and be surprised when it tastes and acts exactly like 2-minute noodles and Christmas Bloody Christmas is 2-minute noodles – students will love it, it’s great when you’re drunk or hungover, affordably predictable and wouldn’t go down well on a date.
I recommend this fun, stupid film to people who see a movie about a animatronic, murdering santa and think to themselves “hmmm I really feel like watching a movie about an animatronic, murdering santa”…but if you really want to be terrified this Christmas, just watch Andrew Lincoln stalking Keira Knightley in Love Actually for the 50th time. Just make sure you have a few packets of 2-minute noodles handy.
– Ashton Brown